BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KFTA) — The investigation surrounding a Bentonville police officer who shot a 17-year-old robbery suspect has been completed.
The office of Prosecuting Attorney Nathan Smith issued a statement Friday, December 20, that Officer Joseph Brown was justified in discharging his weapon under the laws of the State of Arkansas.
Officer Joseph Brown shot Dominick Matt on December 6 and has been on administrative leave.
“No police officer desires to shoot and kill someone, especially in circumstances like this,” said Nathan Smith, Benton County’s prosecuting attorney. “As tragic as he was, Dominick created the circumstances that led to his death. That was his intent.”
According to police, Brown responded to a report of an attempted robbery at a gas station. Based on the store clerk’s description, Brown located Matt, who allegedly brandished a handgun, leading Brown to shoot him.
When Brown administered CPR, Matt thanked him for the shooting. In a letter found in Matt’s pocket, the teen apologized to officers and the store clerk. He said this was the “easiest way to escape”, according to the report. Matt’s father said his son dealt with depression.
“My son had never committed a crime in his life,” Matt’s father said in a text message. “He was one of the kindest and most gentle human beings I have ever known. We as a family are destroyed to lose our son.”
Below is the letter sent to Bentonville Police Chief Jon Simpson and Arkansas State Police Special Agent Roy Moomey: